Rating: 4 of 5
I was expecting this movie to be good. I liked the first one a lot (with only a few qualifications) and I liked the character even more in The Avengers. So, yes, I pretty much expected The Dark World to be good. And even then, I was impressed.
Because this is one of those movies that’s the ideal in the tentpole-blockbuster-extravaganza films because it’s a character movie first and all of those other things second.
The relationship with Thor and Jane Foster is better than the first movie. Even though I still don’t think they have much chemistry we got to see them work together and fight for each other and that all worked well enough. Though, there isn’t a lot of depth to their relationship or substance. But I think at this point the characters are solid enough on their own that I don’t quibble about the relationship, even though it’s really not great.
Loki is still the most interesting character because he shows the widest range of emotion and different dimensions of himself.I think the problem is that Thor is such a self-contained character, as appealing and noble as he is, you don’t get to see in him the nuances that Loki gets to play. He gets to be very funny in this movie, but not really intentionally so.
And there is a whole lot of funny in this movie which is delightful and sets off the dark tone of the battles very nicely.
That being said, it isn’t as if the other characters have nothing to do. Thor is most interesting when he’s with Loki. Their dynamic is just such a precarious balance of love and animosity and as it waivers back and forth it’s engaging. And
I really enjoyed the roles the women got to play in the story. Frigga has a great fight scene and is a very commanding queen. Jane is more interesting as she plays a central role in this story and she’s considerably less annoying than last time around. It’s interesting to see what Jane bears in this story and to have Thor recognize it. And for both Odin and Thor to acknowledge the influence the women they love have on them (mostly, sorta, whatever you’ll get it when you see it). Sif and Darcy are also fun and have their moments. It’s always good to see strong women that are central to the story in a big adventure like this because that’s so often not the case.
These movies are all about powerful men, tailor made for young men, crafted from the substance of their fantasies. And it’s really cool that strong women are such an important part of them.
The story, overall, works and the first tag at the end hints at how it will tie in with Guardians of the Galaxy (and the Super Hero Squad Show my nephews would be quick to point out). Which is good. But it’s not a movie that relies on the story or the plot logic, the focus really is the characters (and the fights) and the story is just used to move them and change them (and make them fight) which it what makes is such a very good movie.
Plus, you know, it’s Thor and he’s my favorite.